Date of the Expedition

From April 17 to April 26, 2020

Activity

To be confirmed

Place

Kuujjuaq, QC

Age Group

19 to 29 years old

  • In remission

Number of Participants

14 maximum

Description

This expedition will offer 14 young adult from 19 to 29 years old in remission of a cancer for 5 years or less, the opportunity to take part in a Grand Expedition of backcountry skiing in the Nunavik. A unique chance to overcome your personnal limits, to live a cultural experience and a total escape.

Our departure will take place in Montreal, Qc. All together, we’ll embark on a flight to Kuujjuaq. Once at our final destination, we’ll be welcome by the guides from Nurrait | Jeunes Karibus, and we’ll settle for the two first nights in a hotel. This way, we’ll have plenty of time to get to know each other, to familiarize with the Inuit community and to get ready for the expedition. On our second day in the North, we’ll go out to practice our ski techniques and learn how to carry our sleds. As we’ll ski, we’ll slowly discover the vastness and the beauty of this territory.

When we’ll be all set for the expedition, we’ll leave equipped with our skis and sleds for a 6-day expedition around Kuujjuaq.  As the nomad people of the North, we’ll learn how to live while moving our campsite everyday to discover new area. A big team of snowmobiling guides will ensure our safety and help us carry all the camping and cooking gear. Everybody will carry his personal equipment in his own sled. Each night, in team, we’ll build our little tupik village, the traditional Inuit tent. Around the fire stove in our tent, we’ll be comfortable for the night. Everyday, while skiing or during the different camp chores, you’ll have many opportunities to share and meet other participants who have been trough similar challenges. Since our team of snowmobile guides will comprise a couple of young Inuit, you will have lots of occasions to learn and share about their culture. At the end of this adventure, we’ll reach the village of Kuujjuaq for one last night at the hotel and a traditional Inuit fest to celebrate our expedition before to take the plane back to Montreal.

Expedition Members

The foundation’s team will include two facilitators, one photographer-blogger, as well as medical volunteers (a physician, a nurse, and a psychosocial professional), who’s mission is to keep an eye on everyone’s wellness during the expedition. Looking after the logistical aspects, we’ll bank on the presence of a professional hiking guides’ team.

Geography and History

Kuujjuaq, Nunavik’s largest community, is located on the west shore of the Koksoak River, about 50 km upstream from Ungava Bay. Daily life in this community is closely tied to the mighty river. Even though the village is close to the tree line, the boreal forest is present around Kuujjuaq. Patches of black spruce and larch stand in marshy valleys. Kuujjuaq also witnesses annual migrations of the George River caribou herd, they pass through the region throughout August and September.

Sources: https://www.makivik.org/kuujjuaq/

The first Europeans to have contact with local Inuit were Moravians around 1810. Their aim was to convert “the Esquimaux to Christianity.”

 

Around 1830, the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) started the fur trade business in Nunavik by establishing their first trading post on the east shore of the Koksoak River, about 5 km downstream from the present-day settlement. The trading post closed in 1842, then reopened in 1866. At that time, Inuit, Montagnais and Naskapi came to trade at the trading post.

 

The construction of a U.S. Air Force base (Crystal 1) in 1942 on the west shore of the Koksoak River, today’s settlement’ site, and the occupation of the site by the American army between 1941 and 1945 sped up the development of the community. After the end of World War II, the United States turned the base over to the Canadian government. In 1948, a Catholic mission was established, followed by a nursing station, a school and a weather station. When the HBC moved upstream closer to the airstrips in 1958, it was followed by the remaining families that still lived across the river at Fort Chimo. In 1961, a co-operative was created.

 

With its two airstrips, Kuujjuaq is the transportation hub of the entire region. The population of Kuujjuaq today is about 3000 people.

Sources: https://www.makivik.org/kuujjuaq/

Schedule

I’m interested!

Are you interested in this expedition? Complete the registration form here.

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